Bioinformatics (M.S.)

Bioinformatics (M.S.)
A panel of three different students working in labs

Prepare for a successful position in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and biomanufacturing professions through advanced coursework, computational skills development and real-world training in the rapidly expanding universe of biological data.

  Credit Hours: 30  |     Courses: 6-8   |     Program Length: 1 year

Why get a professional Master’s of Science in Bioinformatics?

Our professional M.S. in Bioinformatics equips you with the knowledge, skills, abilities, and industry contacts required to take your chosen career in data-rich fields including agriculture and the environment, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or biomanufacturing industries to the next level. Unlike a thesis-based M.S. program, students in the Bioinformatics Program take core and elective courses in genetics and genomics of immediate relevance to working professionals. Our mission is to efficiently provide our students the specialized knowledge and skills needed to successfully enter or advance their careers in a range of bioscience industries. This M.S. program concludes with a training experience in a research lab or industrial setting that will help launch you onto the next stage of your career journey in the biotechnology and associated industries.

Why choose UNH’s professional M.S. in Bioinformatics?

As a Carnegie research-intensive (R1) institution, UNH offers outstanding opportunities to engage with world-class researchers, develop your analytical skills with state-of-the-art computational infrastructure, and be centrally located in the northeast biotech corridor that ranges from Boston to Portland. Whether you complete the M.S. in Bioinformatics on a part-time or full-time schedule, you’ll graduate with the skills, knowledge, and connections to propel your career forward in the rapidly growing fields of biotechnology, pharmaceutical science, or biomanufacturing.


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Curriculum & Requirements

The Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences (MCBS) in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) offers the professional M.S. in  Bioinformatics. This non-thesis degree program addresses the growing workforce and educational needs of the life science industries (including biotechnology, environmental and agricultural sectors). The M.S. in Bioinformatics provides continuing and accessible graduate-level education for individuals from broad socioeconomic backgrounds currently in the workforce, as well as for UNH undergraduate students seeking to enroll in an accelerated Master’s program, and to gain enhanced knowledge and specialized skills prior to entering the workforce.

Distinctive Features of the Program

The program is founded on the existing academic rigor of the thesis-based graduate programs offered in MCBS and on the substantial innovative experiential learning opportunities enabled by existing biotechnology-relevant Centers: the Hubbard Center for Genome Studies (HCGS), the University Instrumentation Center (UIC), the Center of Integrated Biomedical and Bioengineering Research (CIBBR), the NH Center for Multiscale Modeling and Manufacturing of Biomaterials (NH BioMade), and the Biomanufacturing Innovation Center (BIC). These resources will enable offering instrumentation training workshops in the following areas: genetic engineering of cells; recombinant protein production and purification; biological mass spectroscopy; nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy; cell imaging and phenotyping; visualization of macromolecules.

Admission Requirements

A distinguishing feature of the M.S. in Bioinformatics curriculum is its flexibility to accommodate students of diverse backgrounds, and to provide a customized curriculum to meet the career goals that attracted them to this program. For admission, program applicants will be expected to meet the following prerequisites:
• GPA > 3.0 in prior academic programs, and/or excellent relevant work experience.
• Demonstration of English proficiency for non-native, English-speaking applicants (i.e., TOEFL score).
• Three letters of recommendation
• Personal statement specifying the applicant’s professional development and career plan.
• Required prerequisite courses: introductory biology (two semesters), genetics, organic chemistry.
• Strongly recommended prerequisite courses: genetics, cell biology, math/statistics.

Please note that no departmental financial aid (i.e., teaching assistantships or research assistantships) is available to students admitted into this program.  Information regarding tuition and fees is located here.  Information about other types of financial aid is located here.

Completion of the M.S in Bioinformatics requires at least 30 graduate credits in approved courses, including Core Curriculum courses, Elective courses, and the custom-designed Capstone experience.

Required Core Curriculum

The required core curriculum courses consist of Genomics and Bioinformatics; Programming for Bioinformatics; Design, Analysis, and Interpretation of Experiments; and Applied Bioinformatics. Typically, students will complete the core curriculum courses prior to enrolling in the more advanced offerings. Core requirements may be waived in those instances where the Admissions Committee ascertains that the student already possesses the knowledge and skills provided through these Core Curriculum courses.

Core Courses
GEN 811Genomics and Bioinformatics0 or 4
GEN 812Programming for Bioinformatics5
ANFS 933Design, Analysis, and Interpretation of Experiments4
MCBS 913Applied Bioinformatics3

Elective courses

In addition to the Core requirements, each student will develop a curriculum plan with the Admissions Committee and their Faculty Advisor that includes elective courses and workshops. Students will be encouraged to select elective courses and a capstone experience that encourage specialization (e.g., protein biochemistry, genetic engineering, cell imaging and phenotyping). Each curriculum plan will be customized to meet the career goals of the student. In addition
to approved elective courses, other courses may be incorporated into the curriculum plan to provide breath of training. These courses offered by other academic programs include: bioengineering, biomanufacturing, entrepreneurship and business management, and bioregulatory science (including administrative law, intellectual property, and licensing).

GEN 805Population Genetics3
GEN 806Human Genetics4
GEN 815Molecular Evolution4
GEN 821Comparative Genomics4
BMCB 794Protein Structure and Function4

Capstone experience (including co-op and internship experiences) 

In consultation with the Faculty Advisor and with the approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator, students will design a Capstone experience (up to 6 cr.) that is consistent with their career development plans. The Capstone will typically consist of one of the following: (a) a research project in a UNH faculty member’s research laboratory (usually the Faculty Advisor); (b) an internship experience in an industry setting (including the student’s current workplace if applicable); or (c) an intentionally designed set of applied training workshops. The preferred scenario for the internship is a partnership between the student’s off-site internship supervisor and the UNH Faculty Advisor in which the experiential learning experience has some components performed in the workplace and others on-campus. Two semesters of independent research experience in bioinformatics, including requirement to present at the Graduate Research Conference.

All MCBS graduates will be able to:

  • Critically apply theories, methodologies, and knowledge to address fundamental questions in their primary area of study.
  • Pursue research of significance in the discipline (or an interdisciplinary or creative project). Students plan and conduct this research (or implement their project) under the guidance of an advisor, while developing intellectual independence that typifies true scholarship.
  • Demonstrate skills in oral and written communication sufficient to present and publish work in their field, and to prepare grant proposals.
  • Follow the principles of ethics in their field, and in academia.
  • Demonstrate, through service, the value of their discipline to the academy and community at large.
  • Demonstrate a mastery of skills and knowledge at a level required for college and university undergraduate teaching in their discipline and assessment of student learning.
  • Interact productively with individuals from diverse backgrounds in the roles of team members, leaders and mentors with integrity and professionalism.

Graduates of the Bioinformatics M.S. program will be able to:

  • Identify and/or develop appropriate bioinformatics workflows to address research questions for big data sets in the biological sciences.
  • Implement appropriate software tools and statistical analyses packages (including Python, R, and shell scripts), and evaluate the outcomes and performance of these tools.
  • Manage large-scale datasets for projects, document workflows, and manage version control in accordance with best practices for ensuring rigor and reproducibility.
  • Effectively communicate methodologies and results to project team members, collaborators, and the general public.

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Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: May 15
  • Spring: N/A
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: CT MA RI VT

Accelerated Masters: Yes (for more details see the accelerated masters information page)

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence Form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.


If you attended UNH or Granite State College (GSC) after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester, UNH Non-Degree work and GSC. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must upload a copy (PDF) of your transcript in the application form. International transcripts must be translated into English.

If admitted, you must then request an official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Transcripts from all previous post-secondary institutions must be submitted and applicants must disclose any previous academic or disciplinary sanctions that resulted in their temporary or permanent separation from a previous post-secondary institution. If it is found that previous academic or disciplinary separations were not disclosed, applicants may face denial and admitted students may face dismissal from their academic program.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives.
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.


Current resume limited to no more than one page.

Additional Department Requirements

Please note the GRE is no longer required.  No GRE score is needed to apply.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program-specific application questions.

Additional Information

Please note that no departmental financial aid (i.e., teaching assistantships or research assistantships) is available to students admitted into this program.  Learn more about other types of financial aid at the financial aid website. For more information and options on cost and fees please visit the UNH Business Services Tuition and Fees website.

International Applicants

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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